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Ben Heidenreich

Ben Heidenreich's picture

Research Interests

My interests range from String Phenomenology to Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Gravity more generally.

String Phenomenology attempts to generate testable predictions from String Theory (or Quantum Gravity more generally). Doing so often pushes the limits of what is known about String Theory and suggests new research directions in abstract Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Gravity.

Recently, I have worked extensively on the Weak Gravity Conjecture, a class of hypotheses about the spectrum of charged particles in quantum gravities with interesting implications for phenomenology.

Another focus of my recent research is electromagnetic duality in gauge theories with minimal supersymmetry, related to D-brane physics in string theory.

Positions Held

  • 2013 - 2016 Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
  • 2007 - 2013 PhD, Cornell University, Supervisor: Liam McAllister


  • Essays on Gravitation 2016, Fifth Place, Gravity Research Foundation (with Matthew Reece and Tom Rudelius)

Recent Publications

  • I. Garcia-Etxebarria and B. Heidenreich, "S-duality in N = 1 orientifold SCFTs", Fortschritte der Physik, 65 (2017), no. 3-4 1700013, [arXiv: 1612.00853].
  • B. Heidenreich, M. Reece, and T. Rudelius, "Evidence for a sublattice weak gravity conjecture", JHEP 08 (2017) 025, [arXiv: 1606.08437].
  • B. Heidenreich, M. Reece, and T. Rudelius, "Axion Experiments to Algebraic Geometry: Testing Quantum Gravity via the Weak Gravity Conjecture", Int. J. Mod. Phys. D 25 (2016) 1643005, [arXiv: 1605.05311]. Fifth place, Essays on Gravitation 2016.
  • C. Cordova, B. Heidenreich, A. Popolitov, and S. Shakirov, "Orbifolds and Exact Solutions of Strongly-Coupled Matrix Models", arXiv: 1611.03142.
  • R. Dijkgraaf, B. Heidenreich, P. Jefferson, and C. Vafa, "Negative Branes, Supergroups and the Signature of Spacetime," arXiv: 1603.05665.


  • "What is(n't) the Strong Form of the Weak Gravity Conjecture", String Phenomenology 2017 (Virginia Tech)
  • "Strongly Coupled Phases of N = 1 Orientifold SCFTs", Aspen Winter Conference: Superconformal Field Theories in d >= 4 (Aspen Center for Physics)
  • "Testing Quantum Gravity via the Weak Gravity Conjecture", High Energy Theory Seminar, University of Toronto
  • "Testing Quantum Gravity via the Weak Gravity Conjecture", ACFI seminar, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • "Inflation, Quantum Gravity and the Weak Gravity Conjecture", Joint Tufts / MIT Cosmology Seminar, Tufts University
  • "The Weak Gravity Conjecture...and Much More", BSM Forum, CERN (Remote talk)
  • "Strengthening the Weak Gravity Conjecture", The Weak Gravity Conjecture and Cosmology, IFT Madrid
  • "String Theory and the Weak Gravity Conjecture", Physics Colloquium, McGill University
  • "Strengthening the Weak Gravity Conjecture", Particles and Fields Seminar, Boston University
  • PIRSA:16100053, Inflation, Quantum Gravity, and the Weak Gravity Conjecture, 2016-10-11, Particle Physics
  • PIRSA:15120039, Strongly Coupled Phases of N = 1 S-duality, 2015-12-15, Quantum Fields and Strings